Monday, 9 May 2011

Weird Stats of the Day

Toronto, in its quest to extend a streak of futility to two decades (that is to say, they have not only not won the World Series, nor even appeared in the playoffs in 18 years, they've not even really nodded at contending) lost again yesterday afternoon to the Detroit Tigers.

This loss followed a previous 9-0 defeat on Saturday afternoon in a game that, aside from the no-hitter (and near perfect game - a single walk spoiled that) by Detroit's Justin Verlander, was pretty unremarkable.

Sunday's loss dropped the Jays to 3-13 thus far in day baseball games (source: ESPN.COM).  Now, the Blue Jays are 15-19 over-all, which means that the team is 12-6 in night baseball games.

Put those two records side by side:

Day:    3-13
Night: 12-6

That's a very odd juxtaposition, don't you think?

During the day, the Blue Jays as a team are hitting a robust .204, the worst in the American League (the league average is .253).  At night, the team hits .282, which is not only the highest in the American League, but is so by a fairly healthy margin (Cleveland is second, at .268).  For what it's worth, the AL batting average is, collectively, .246 at night.

The pattern is not repeated for Toronto pitching, who yield a .240 BA during day games, and .239 at night.

So not only do the Jays see widely different fortunes in their day/night splits - basically going from the 1968 Washington Senators to the 1927 Yankees in a sense - but have exactly the opposite pattern the rest of the league shows.

It's generally thought to be easier to hit during the day, when natural light makes it easier to see the ball, so I'm curious as to just why this might be.

A second fun stat is that yesterday's losing pitcher, Jo-Jo Reyes, has now failed to win a game in 25 consecutive starts, spanning back nearly three years (his last win was in June 2008, with Atlanta).  In that span of games, Reyes has gone 0-12, with an ERA of 6.11.

In my lifetime, only two pitchers have gone that long without a win.  Anthony Young went 27 starts between 1990 and 1992 without a win (0-17), and Matt Keough set the pace with zero wins in 28 straight starts from 1977-1978 (0-18).

Keough, of course, was famous for setting the standard for futility in the modern era, with a 2-17 W/L record in 1979.

We may see history of a sort made this year - if Reyes, who is "out of options" keeps going out to the mound.

Stay tuned.

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